Heather’s story – living well with Shared Lives
"I met the family that I was going to move in with and I just had a connection with them."
“I was in foster care from a very young age and I was staying with my foster parents before I knew about Shared Lives. It’s very difficult because when you get to a certain age that’s you ready for independence, you’re moved into your own house. There was such an anxiety and weight on my shoulders as a young 16 year old girl thinking I’m going to have to do everything by myself. Reality kicked in and I realised I didn’t know how to pay my own bills, I didn’t even know how to use a washing machine.
Now that I’m in Shared Lives I know that I wasn’t ready for that. I met the family that I was going to move in with and I just had a connection with them. Shared Lives gives a home to people that need just that wee bit more support managing their lives. What’s amazing is that you’re matched to a family that’s right for you. It’s full of love and laughter as well as having a family.
I used to be quite a tense person because I didn’t feel I could trust anyone because when you’re moved around so much you don’t feel you have time to have that connection with anyone. I think it’s given me independence as well, I’m a very independent person. A lot of people, when I explain Shared Lives, say ‘oh so you get support from a carer 24/7?’ and I say that, no, I get support from my family 24/7 and I think that’s a crucial difference for me.
Before COVID-19 I baked cakes at a café and worked in the café too and spent the weekends with my boyfriend and my family. During COVID-19 the job of ambassador for Shared Lives came up and a lot of people were saying I would be perfect for it, so I went for it and I’m still here. I absolutely love it. I can’t wait to meet people face to face.”
End of page.